Spirit of Hong Kong Awards: teen connects underprivileged youth with career exploration opportunities

  • As a member of NGO Kids4Kids, 17-year-old Hannah Bailey Cherry has helped introduce industry experts to students aspiring to build careers
  • She also founded a store, ReBooked, for donating and reselling books to promote sustainable consumption

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For 2022’s Spirit of Hong Kong Awards, Hannah Bailey Cherry is one of the Youth Award nominees. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Hannah Bailey Cherry wants to help ensure equality and inclusion in Hong Kong by giving young people lacking resources a leg-up.

The 17-year-old said she believed it was important to provide career exploration opportunities for the city’s youth, including those who might not have access to relevant resources at their own schools or were too busy with their studies to collect the information themselves.

As a member of NGO Kids4Kids, the teenager has helped organise and execute events connecting industry experts with students aspiring to build their careers.

Hong Kong teen shares how she opened her own used book store

Hannah said these programmes helped students acquire skills, such as resume writing, while getting a taste of different professions.

“We made sure these programmes are accessible, either being free or online, so that people from all walks of life can participate in them,” she said, adding that she hoped to empower young people by helping them discover their passions and strengths.

Apart from aiding under-resourced students, she also wants to contribute to sustainability.

You can find all kinds of second-hand books at ReBooked in Central. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

As the founder of self-funded bookstore ReBooked, Hannah provides a platform for donating and reselling books to promote sustainable consumption and waste reduction in Hong Kong.

Under her leadership, the store has collaborated with corporate partners, schools and other organisations to share books with ethnic minority families and underprivileged students.

Hannah also co-founded digital directory EcoGo, which consolidates information about environmentally-conscious brands in the city, to help consumers make ethical choices when shopping.

From tutoring to distributing food, one Hong Kong student does what he can to help

Her work to promote youth empowerment and sustainable development has earned her a nomination in this year’s Spirit of Hong Kong Awards.

The annual event, co-organised by the South China Morning Post and property developer Sino Group, honours the achievements of remarkable people whose endeavours might otherwise go unnoticed.

Crystal Lam, executive director of Kids4Kids, recommended the teenager for the Spirit of Youth Award, which recognises young people who have shown a commitment to the community or demonstrated courage.

Hannah said the community work she had undertaken was close to her heart.

“I realised the value of giving back through taking part in the activities,” the teenager said, adding that she looked forward to continuing these endeavours in the future.

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